My interest in cooking started at the age of 17 but even at an earlier age I've been helping my late-father in the kitchen along with my brothers and sisters. My father’s influence was the start of my love for cooking. Although I was trained in a culinary school at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland and at Dubrulle Culinary Institute in Canada to become a professional cook, I gave up pursuing my career to become a professional world-class chef. When my father  was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer last June 2003, I stopped working to become my father’s full-time caregiver for four years until he passed away. I also completed the Natural Nutrition Program at Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and obtained my Registered Holistic Nutrition designation.

I also taught at the International Culinary Arts Academy of Cebu for 3 years and found home and love in Cebu City with my husband John and our son Nate. I am a full time homemaker exploring the possibilities of a home-based food business and a dream to have my cafe one day.

Within those years, my curiosity for health and nutrition came back to life. I learned health and nutrition in a different perspective most especially when my father stayed at the hospital for 14 months. I realized that health is not just about the food that we eat, but the air we breathe, the water we drink, the thoughts we think and the relationships that we have. Food encompasses all aspects of our life and it’s a cycle that cannot be broken but a continuous series of events that has to be maintained. 

Just before giving birth, I completed the Plant-Based Professional Certification at Rouxbe Cooking School to complement my culinary profession

I cook, write, and photograph everything on this blog. Through this blog, I’ve discovered talents and skills that I thought I never had before thus my desire to also have my own cookbook

This blog has evolved from the results of writing about food and nutrition, and for taking my own pictures. But it's also progressing as I write about life in between each blog post. It may seem that each blog post is about my struggle and complains about life for some people. But, it's actually an honest and straightforward narrative about real life situations that all of us are going through and how God has been involved every step of my life story and the people around me. 

About Sense and Serendipity

This blog dates back when I wanted to accomplished something for myself after taking care of my late-father for almost four years and not knowing what to do for the next three years. I was totally lost and depressed during that time not knowing what to do with my life. This blog was an encouragement of a friend who asks me to start blogging my kitchen experiments which turned out to be something more. Sense and Serendipity is part food, part health and nutrition, and part life. 

The origin of the blog name started with the word SENSE in relation to cooking as we use our five senses. As I thought about it, it connected me to the movie, Sense and Sensibility. Although it makes sense, I wanted to replace it with another word that has the same last syllable, hence, Serendipity, which is a word that I've always love
Serendipity (n)
Finding something good without looking for it 

Mentions and Features


  1. It's so nice to get to 'meet' you. I wish I ad the kind of culinary bkground you do. You must be amazing in the kitchen!!!

  2. i'm so glad i came across your blog in a round-about way. one of my biggest challenges is to find recipes that incorporate healthy vegis like what you mentioned in your leafy greens section! i love your blog. it's so informative!

  3. @ Tia - Thank you. Nice to "meet" you too. You can also be amazing in the kitchen without my culinary background. I think you'll be amazing as well if you have the heart and soul for it.

    @ Anonymous - Thank you for dropping by. I'm glad you find it informative. Hope to post more recipes that involves veggies.

  4. Finally got your 'new look', really nice and clean! I like it! I'm guessing that's malunggay leaves up there? very fitting for a Pinoy food/nutrition blog. I am thankful for discovering S&S and so fortunate to know and connect with you through our blogging adventures :)

  5. Wow...I loved the new look, it's awesome. I hope you get a book deal soon, I would buy one. :-D

  6. @ Mom-Friday - thank you. Yes, it's malunggay leaves. Still working on the header. Thank you for visiting and for coming back. It's been nice knowing you. :)

    @ Anna - thank you. Haha. When would that be? But still hopeful. :)

  7. You have a beauiful blog. I love your writing, your photographs and your recipes (will prep and cook one of them one of these days:)I agree with Anna, you should author a cookbook, and I will definitely buy it, too.

  8. hi Divina
    I am also a 'chinoy' like you and presently living in Rhode Island. I stumbled onto your blog when I saw your recipe in Rasa Malaysia...mmmmmm kare-kare I miss it a lot !! Will definitely try it this weekend.

  9. @ Enya - Thank you for dropping by and for your wonderful complements. That means a lot. I hope so too. :)

    @ Alex - Thanks for writing. Let me know how your kare kare goes. :)

  10. Hi. I found your blog while searching for a squid recipe. I'm really excited to try it one day when I have the time to get all the ingredients.

    You do write beautifully. I enjoy the anecdotes that come with the recipes, but I think that you could improve by punctuating more carefully.

  11. @ Anonymous - Thank you for your comments and advice. Writing composition or an essay is my weakness. I will try to improve on that. Thanks a lot.

  12. Hi Divina. Your posts are inspirational. The way you pour out your soul in them brush honest colors in the painting of your life. I too have experienced loss when my grandmother passed away. I cannot forget how she brings me up and lets me stand beside the wooden stove where she prepares meals because at a young age I already loved cooking. Enough of me though. I will be visiting your site more often and see how your adventure unfolds.

    I am also linking you up at my myfilipinokitchen.com

    All the best.

  13. @ Ziggy - thank you for your kind words. I'm certain that your grandmother is a real inspiration to you. Thank you for the link and for dropping by. Hope to see you soon again. :)

  14. It is inspiring and touching that you took off years from your own career to care for your dad during his illness and are reviving it again. I too have frustrated dreams, but keep pushing forward. It is better to dream too much and be disappointed than to not dream at all.

  15. hey dear you remember 30 best recipes of 2009
    this year i am going to do something similar. oct it will start on my blog. so do not forget to check it out


  16. Visiting from Kulinarya Cooking Club! Nice to meet you, Divina! :)

  17. nice blog chef! :) and i love the story behind the name of your blog. it's very creative... and by the way, every time i see the word serendipity, i immediately recall the song serendipity by john mayer.

  18. I love it!!! I'm the new dietitian at the hospital in Saipan, and have been slowly learning about the new foods in the area - and definitely with a focus on food and lifestyle as medicine!! So glad to have found your blog! Can't wait to look around more :)

  19. Delightful! I fond cooking too. I can relate to this site a lot. Thanks for making a site like this.

  20. Hello Divina! I've just discovered your blog... you're definitely a talented writer. I'm sorry to hear about your father and I admire the fact that you cared for him for four years. I work in aged care and it's a huge commitment - emotionally and physically - to be someone's carer during the last stage of their life. He was lucky to have you, and we're lucky to have the opportunity of reading about your experience and newfound culinary journey through this blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and a little fragment of your life with us. Your recipes are beautiful and I'm excited at the thought of trying some of them :) Sending you a hug from Australia x


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